|Food Smarts: From The Mentors
I believe that my family and I have a good handle on nutrition. My mother makes tasty meals with chicken, broccoli, pasta, and meat very often. I believe that being nutritious doesn't have to take much effort. A healthy breakfast (no buffalo wings or candy at 8:00 in the morning!) for me is some cereal or whole wheat toast with peanut butter. For lunch, I eat a sandwich with healthy ingredients such as turkey, lettuce, and tomato. And for dinner, try to avoid anything with high fat, because this is your last meal of the day before you go to sleep. All that fat will just sit in your body. Basically, making sure that all of your three meals are nutritious choices will greatly increase your health and confidence.
I think I have a handle on nutrition. I may not practice good habits all the time, but I'm able to recognize what is good for me and what is not. To make up for not eating healthy all the time, I'm sure to eat as many fruits and vegetables as possible. I'm not proud of all my eating habits. I think my biggest problem is not eating meals at regularly scheduled times. Instead, when I get hungry, I eat the quickest thing I can find. And depending on the time, it may be a snack of peanut butter crackers opposed to a sandwich or something more fulfilling. In the end, I'm eating more than I need to.When it comes to my family, I think everyone could use a nutritional makeover! Most of us have bad habits due to our conflicting schedules. If the family changed their habits together, they could support each other's habits for eating healthier.
Being someone who reads all the info on cereal boxes, milk cartons, soda bottles, etc, I think I'm pretty nutrition-savvy. But that also makes me really sensitive to the calorie/fat content of different types of food, so I often have the tendency to follow a low-fat diet than a well-balanced, nutritious diet. I think that's like a common dilemma for teenage girls like me, or even pre-teen girls nowadays. I'm practically crazy about fruits -- I love almost all types of fruits (peaches and mangos in particular) and I eat loads of them (more than the 3-4 servings required) every day -- but it's getting harder as I'm now eating
mostly at college dining halls. My mom is really an advocate of balanced diets. She really tries to cook a wide variety of food so we can all have something we like at every meal and we can have a diverse source of nutrients. That's really important, and I guess having grown up with good habits, it's easier for me to keep them even after I left home for college.
As long as I'm provided with the resources to have good eating habits, I practice them. This summer I did a three-week writing class at a college in Illinois, and since I only had access to cafeteria food, that's all I ate. At home we have a drawer in our refrigerator full of fruit, and since I didn't have a refrigerator during the summer, the only fruit I encountered for about a month was applesauce! Lately I've been extremely busy, so the only "good" meals I have are breakfast and lunch. I'll have a bowl of cereal and yogurt for breakfast, and a turkey sandwich, apple, and crackers for lunch...but when I get home, dinner will be something easy like a bowl of cereal. I know that it's important to have a lot of variety in your diet, but I don't. The one good habit I'm proud of is that I don't drink pop (aka soda to some), and haven't for the last 5 years. I also try and avoid juice, since it tends to be more sugar than fruit. When I do drink something other than water, I make sure it's 100% juice. Speaking of water, I'm a water addict! It's a good habit to get into! In terms of bad habits, my mom and I have the same problem: we both like sweet things. We try to stay away from it, but after a while, you give in and end up eating more than was planned. It's better to just have a little bit when you first feel your craving rather than waiting and binging.
There is so much information out there that it is hard to know what to follow. Low carb or low fat? Veggies or steak? I think it is so easy to get confused. I don't feel I have a good handle on proper nutrition because I don't really understand what that involves. But I'm not a junk food junkie either. I have Carl's Jr. or Mickey Dees once on the weekend. Throughout the rest of the week I eat six small meals consisting of healthy carbs and
protein. Healthy carbs include wheat bread, wheat pasta, low sugary fruits (like red apples, berries, bananas, pears), and veggies. I don't like veggies too much, so I have to work on eating more of those!
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